Friday, November 30, 2012

Flannel Friday: The Snow is Falling Down

"The Snow is Falling Down"
Sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"
By Miss Courtney

The snow is falling down,
The snow is falling down,

Add one snowflake for each line
It's like a blanket on the ground,
The snow is falling down.

Add snowy blanket
We roll it in a ball,
We roll it in a ball,
We make a great big circle,
When we roll it in a ball.

Add large circle
We make a smiley face,
We make a smiley face,
We add eyes, nose and mouth,
To make a smiley face.

Ask children, "What did we make?"
The end.

I'll be sharing this Winter flannel song next week for our annual PJ Storytime. I'm having a snow theme this year! Flannel Friday Holiday Round-Up Here!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Flannel Friday: Lunch by Denise Fleming

I saw this flannel idea on Flannel Friday quite some time ago, so imagine my surprise when it showed up in the Food story box this month! I have no idea who created this beautiful flannel story, but would hazard a guess it was Miss Jo Kay. It's surprisingly sturdy. 

My favorite part of sharing a flannel story is the adaptability. You don't have to use exact words, or go in an exact order. For this story, I had a small group and a vocal 4-year-old (A), so I tailored it a little bit.

Adapted by Miss Courtney

Once upon a time there was a little mouse. One day, little mouse smelled something coming from the kitchen. He found something white...
A: I don't know what that is...
It is a turnip, do you like turnips?
A: Yes
Do you think the mouse would eat it?
A: Yes
Then, the mouse smelled something yellow that grows on a stalk.
Would the mouse eat that?
A: No.
Ok, let's leave the corn up on the board then.
Next mouse smelled something blue
A: BLUEBERRIES! Those are my favorite!
Would mouse eat a blueberry?
A: Yes.
Mouse also found some peas and grapes, an apple and a watermelon.
(A said he ate all those, too.)
Then, the mouse was very full and very tired, so he took a nap.
(I hide the mouse under the flannel board and scoot all of the food off him back into the box.)
When he woke up, he stretched and looked around and smelled something delicious...

The end.

Wouldn't this be a great story to adapt for food-related holidays? I think our mouse might find Santa's cookies pretty tasty!

Happy Thanksgiving, Slapsgiving or Planksgiving (depending on what shows you watch, get high fives for guessing in the comments!) I'm taking the week off. Flannel Friday will be hosted at Loons and Quines this week. Don't miss it.

Shared on The Children's Bookshelf.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flannel Friday: What a Cake!

What a Cake!
From Mudluscious by Jan Irving and Robin Currie

Once there was a baker who baked a lovely cake.
Oh, what a cake he did make!

But when he wasn't looking,
A flea flew in
to the cake the baker baked
Oh, what a cake he did make!

But when he wasn't looking...

a butterfly blew in
a frog flipped in
a snake slipped in
a duck danced in
a pig pranced in
Oh what a cake THAT did make!

But then the baker looked and said, "ENOUGH!"
And out the pig pranced,
The duck danced,
The snake slipped,
The frog flipped,
The butterfly blew,
The flea flew
And they all shared the cake the baker baked, and what a cake he did make!
The end.

I usually just dump the animals out, because it's easier and funnier. The children all rush to pick them up, then we can recall what alliterative movement they did. At the end, I hold the cake up to the board, which is red, so it will show through the clear part. He made a red, velvet cake, YUM!

Flannel Friday 11/16

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Five Lollipops

Five Lollipops
Sung to the tune of "Five Little Ducks"
Five lollipops for me to lick,
I choose red and lick, lick, lick!
I lick slow,
And I lick quick,
Soon all that's left is just a stick. ICK!

Repeat with other colors

I instruct the children to hold up five fingers and sing along with me for this song.
When the lollipop is gone, I hide it inside my box and hold up a craft stick. If I have a fresh stick, I actually lick it and say, ICK! It always draws a big laugh.

I believe I saw this performed with real lollipops at a conference presentation by Susan Dailey.

Sharing with the Kids Co-Op.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pin and Win: Drip Paint Pumpkin

Bobo's drip painted pumpkin!
After observing a large orange pumpkin, we had fun squirting paint to drip down it creating a rainbow effect. 

The set-up was simple!

I tore up an old cereal box to lay on the floor. It did leak through the cardboard, so if you're worried about the floor (we are not) it may be less stress to paint outside. I put several colors of paint in an egg carton and two "squirters", one for each of us. It took two days to dry.

The Pin

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tot Trays

From Left to Right and Top to Bottom:
Ping pong balls with tongs
Rhyming puzzle cards
Sorting and patterns with leaves, acorns and gourds
Turkey feather pom counting game
Scarecrow number puzzle

Bobo's favorite tray from this series has been the ping pong balls. The package came with eight balls, so Bobo went on a hunt to find more white objects to tong. The most challenging tray contains the rhyming cards, so we'll continue to work on those as his interest continues. I think he enjoys the puzzle aspect more than the rhyming one!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Bubble Wrap Stamping

I always get the funniest looks when the mail comes at my library. Who wouldn't be excited to see a box full of bubble wrap? Who wouldn't run to it and wrap it around themselves like a shawl? Then, throw it on the ground and happily stomp on it?

All that bubble wrap got me thinking about using it with crafts. First, I cut squares and we used it with stamp pads for a farm scene. Then, we wrapped it around the ends of a wrapping paper roll (cut small for little hands) and dipped it in liquid water colors to make a corn cob. I'm planning on using regular paint for a messy learning center in December.

What do you do with bubble wrap?

Shared on Tuesday Tots.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WMCIR: Stunts

I don't know if it is intentional, but Kel Gilligan is totally Kick Buttowski! Disney, if you're reading this, please don't sue! It's a fabulous book. It reminds me of the Dinosaur VS books by Bob Shea, but for an older crowd. Kel Gilligan embarks on death-defying stunts like getting dressed BY HIMSELF. I love the parent's dialogue bubbles. Bobo thought the whole book was hilarious and didn't think Kel was at all like Kick (Kel has a nose, after all).

See, Disney? No blue stripes or cape.

I feel like a broken record, but Bobo loves ninjas, superheroes and jokes. I am keeping everyone updated with new books at least, I hope. The illustrations by Ed Young in this picture book are beautiful. The ninja is on a stealthy mission which is a mystery to the reader. The text is sparse, relying heavily on the gorgeous illustrations to tell the story.

And the joke book for the week... See, so predictable! We did not enjoy this book as much as Monkeyfarts. The jokes weren't as funny and Bobo didn't get some of them. Plus, I don't think there was one crude joke about bodily functions, which (let's face it) are B's bread and butter. 

And since we are learning about jokes, I'll leave you with a Bobo original. Q: How did the policeman catch the slob? A: He peed his pants.

Read Aloud Thursdays

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Storytime: Endings for 2- & 3-year-olds

I just posted about the opening routine for 2s and 3s. I also use the same closing routine each week.
1. Name Tag Removal

After singing a lull-a-bye, I ask the children to bring up their name tags and I exchange them with a handout. I used to have tags that accompanied the theme and would make new ones every five weeks. Lately, I've laminated happy faces and use a Sharpie so I can erase them and re-use them each session.

2. Fingertaster

Miss Fiona
What is a fingertaster? According to to Nichols, a fingertaster is a puppet who is very shy and has no teeth. She loves to lick fingers. The first time I introduce Miss Fiona, I let her peek out and hide until the children are very quiet. I tell them she's shy, "Do you know what that means? Do you feel shy sometimes?" Then, I ask a parent to have their finger tasted. The tastes can have something to do with the theme or just be silly. After everyone has a turn, it's time for Fiona to go back in her house and take a nap. Before she leaves, she gives each child a kiss on the hand.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Storytime: Openings for 2- & 3-year-olds

Last year, I shared my opening songs for all my storytimes. I'd like to start sharing my entire storytime for 2s and 3s each week. It makes more sense to talk about the opening separately as it stays the same.

I fell into my job as a children's librarian, so I didn't have much training in that aspect of librarianship. In all honesty, I was pretty clueless when it came to storytime. I had never attended one and didn't have any children at the time. As I worked at a small branch library, I didn't have the fortune of learning from veterans, either. My professional shelf of manuals was a life-saver, though I didn't know it at the time.

After I read one manual, several years into my career, I devoured them all and even asked for the library to order more. Storytimes for two-year-olds by Judy Nichols changed the way I planned storytime.


1. Come with me! entering the story space and getting settled

I use a train whistle to alert parents and children it is time to enter the storytime room.

This doesn't look like the one I use, I just love ladybugs!
I hold the door open and welcome everyone, by name to practice for our song, and ask them to have a seat on the big puzzle we use as mat. After everyone is in, I make my way to the front and shake my tambourine while singing "Hello, Everybody".

2. Look at me! refocusing toddler's attention on you

After singing, I introduce myself and say we are going to have fun, tell stories, sing songs and play games. "But the first thing we do, so you can be super good listeners today is pass out the listening dust." I use a homemade wand with ribbons to sprinkle it in their hands. The ribbon tickles.

3. Do with me! a participation activity done with you

"The More We Get Together" is a classic song I didn't use for the longest time because I thought it was a cliche. That's just silly! It's so popular because it's a fantastic song that screams childhood. The children pat their legs with me for the first verse, then we sing all their names and finally do a super fast verse that ends in giggles. I didn't realize it at the time, but the other libraries in town use a version of the song, too. One branch uses a Caribbean version and the other a hip-hop one.

4. Watch me do! directing children's attention elsewhere yet still under your control

I use a simple flannel board activity to introduce the theme for the day. So for community helpers, I'd put up a letter flannel and ask them what it is. Then, I'd put up the mailman piece and ask what a person is called who delivers the mail. Then, I'd put up the word.

And that routine is the one I use each week. Please read Judy Nichols' book for more ideas and explanations of each  one as well as thematic books and ideas. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tot Trays: Fall

Decorating for Fall

Investigating insects science experiment. We used plastic bugs as it is getting cold outside. Plus, I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to supervise picking up bugs out of the yard.

Scooping and sorting leaves, acorns and bugs.

Sorting and counting turkeys.

Pumpkin observation chart, again, with a different pumpkin. Compare/Contrast with other sheet. Drip painting, which will be shown on my "Pin It, Did It" post, as it turned out gorgeous.

Charlie Brown stickers and Fall stickers in a blank notebook. I will probably do some number work with this tray.

Color by number turkey sheet at the writing center.

Linked with Tot School and Kid's Co-Op.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Flannel Friday: Turkey Wore His Red Feather

Turkey Wore His Red Feather
Sung to the tune of "Mary Wore Her Red Dress"
From Piggyback Songs?

Turkey wore his red feather, red feather, red feather,
Turkey wore his red feather all day long.
Additional verses: green, orange, blue, yellow, pink and white

I also use this turkey for our weekly matching game in November. Thanksgiving is tricky for storytime. I'd rather focus on family than food. Lots of rhymes and stories out there make fun of the turkey getting eaten. It's just not my cup of tea. I'm excited to see what the rest of the Flannel Friday group comes up with this week!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WMCIR: Fractured Fairy Tales and Monkey Farts

When I saw The Three Ninja Pigs, I knew it was the perfect book for Bobo. Perseverance is still the theme, but the pigs must learn martial arts to protects themselves instead of building sturdy homes. The rhyming text is witty and the illustrations are vibrant. I highly recommend this book for little ninjas. 

Oh, Mo Willems, how I love your humor! Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is another classic tale with an infusion of the fantastic. The story is a sarcastic re-telling with sinister dinosaurs and a not-quite-as hapless Goldilocks. Our favorite part replaced porridge with pudding and had Goldilocks eating it all up regardless of temperature because, "It's chocolate pudding, right?" 

What's invisible and smells like bananas? Bobo is just the right age for learning jokes. Sure his jokes don't always make sense and often have a punch line of butt, burp or fart, but he's learning. To foster this new-found sense of humor, I brought home Monkeyfarts! Bobo's favorite jokes are the superhero ones.

I shared with the Read Aloud Thursday group, TGIF and Read Learn Explore.